Nam Manchester

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor
Nam

Nam Manchester, Unit 2, 33 Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 6AJ – Visit Now

Cocktails review: NAM is widely known for being one of the jewels in the Ancoats crown, serving up some of the best Vietnamese food in Manchester from its great-looking space on Cutting Room Square. But beyond the food, they have a superb downstairs space, complete with state-of-the-art soundsystem and regular DJs, such as local legend Levi Love, plus a menu packed with some of the greatest cocktails in the city.

You’re guaranteed to find your new favourite drink here, soundtracked by the city’s best soundsystem

This consists of a dozen or so concoctions, carefully designed and curated by bar manager Nicola Wilding. And curated is the only word to describe these special drinks. Rather than a gaudy explosion of food colouring and gimmicks, these are deeply satisfying drinks, perfectly balanced to deliver a range of complementary flavours with each sip. Oh, and they look great too.

The Pandan White Russian is a must-try, especially if you’re looking for a dessert-style drink on a hot day. The pandan (also known as the vanilla of Southeast Asia) gives the drink a gentle green hue, and combined with cream and coconut, plus white chocolate Mozart and creme de cacao, comes together to create something complex and eye-openingly delicious.

This kind of thinking can be found throughout the menu, with one or two great cocktails based around each of the major spirits: whisky, rum, tequila, gin and vodka.

Like your drinks sourer than one of those probably now-illegal gobstoppers you had as a kid? Go straight for the yuzu and pineapple sour, from the rum section. The use of grapefruit bitters takes the tartness to all-new cheek puckering heights, which might not be for everyone, but my drinking buddy and I both loved it.

Then there’s Eternal Spring. A blend of Japanese vodka, rose, lychee, cranberry, lemon and sparkling sake, it tastes exactly as it sounds: stunning. It takes true skill to balance these ingredients in a way that nothing dominates, but everything plays its part, and that’s exactly what’s going on here.

But these are just a few of the drinks on offer – if you’re a cocktail-lover you’re guaranteed to find your new favourite drink here, soundtracked by the city’s best soundsystem. If you thought NAM was just about great food, think again – the cocktails are just as wonderful, if not better.

Sunday roast review: Winter is here and Sunday roasts are flying in thick and fast. One of the most intriguing-sounding is Nam’s, the highly-rated Vietnamese restaurant in Ancoats (see below for full venue review). Vietnamese cuisine isn’t known for its traditional Sunday roasts, which is precisely why this is so exciting.

A glorious fusion of Vietnamese and British flavours, meaty, hearty and with a powerful five-spice punch

The menu has three types on offer, a five-spice and soy-braised tofu, suitable for vegans and a snip at £12.50, and a half roast chicken with Nam’s signature house rub, plus crispy skin char sui pork belly, both at £14 each. I opt for the chicken.

Nam

The first thing I notice is the quality of the ingredients – the freshest, high-grade produce available anywhere. The meat falls from the bone beautifully, cooked not a second too long or little. The potatoes are both crisp and fluffy, the vegetables crunchy, and there’s an unusual take on a Yorkshire pudding that I scoff in milliseconds, it’s that good.

The star of the show, alongside the meat, is a little bundle of enoki mushrooms. The slippery smooth texture works wonder with the gravy and the meat, making for the ultimate mouthful. The fresh broccoli and sugar snap peas are great too, an inspired change from the usual peas and carrots.

Exactly what food should be about in 2021

But it’s the gravy that I can’t stop thinking about, days after the meal. It’s a glorious fusion of Vietnamese and British flavours, meaty, hearty and with a powerful five-spice punch. Without the five-spice, it’d be great, but this element lifts it into something remarkable, and it’s surprising that this hasn’t been done before, in Manchester at least.

Nam has a lot of hype swirling around it, and it’s all deserved. This Sunday roast might upset the traditionalists, but it’s exactly what food should be about in 2021: a glorious celebration of cultures, bringing the best out of each and creating something truly special. Not to mention wiping out the hangover from the night before. For one of the most original and forward-thinking Sunday roasts in the city, head to Nam, stat.

  • Unit 2, 33 Blossom St, Ancoats
  • Manchester
  • M4 6AJ
  • View map

Opening Hours

  • Mon: 12:00pm – 11:00pm
  • Tue: 12:00pm – 11:00pm
  • Wed: 12:00pm – 11:00pm
  • Thu: 12:00pm – 11:00pm
  • Fri: 12:00pm – 12:00am
  • Sat: 12:00pm – 12:00am
  • Sun: 12:00pm – 11:00pm
  • Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit

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